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Casta PaintingsIñigo Manglano-Ovalle

July 16, 2008

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle traces his understanding of otherness to the first time he saw a 19th century Spanish casta painting. Historically, casta paintings visually articulated the hierarchical system of race classifications in eighteenth century Hispanic America. In this film, Manglano-Ovalle recalls the effect and inspiration casta paintings instilled in him at a young age, against a backdrop of photographs of the artist’s 1998 installation The Garden of Earthly Delights at the XXIV Sao Paulo Bienal.

“I remember at the age of ten, difference was locatable to a particular sort of event…seeing eighteenth century casta paintings in a museum and not understanding them until somebody pointed out to me, that I was in one of those paintings,” says the artist. “They pointed to a painting where there’s ‘un espanol’ and ‘a mestizo,’ which is a mix between Español and India—a term that they invented.”

More information and credits


Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Mark Falstad. Sound: Heidi Hesse. Editor: Steven Wechsler. Artwork courtesy: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Thanks: Max Protetch Gallery.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s technologically sophisticated sculptures and video installations use natural forms such as clouds, icebergs, and DNA as metaphors for understanding social issues such as immigration, gun violence, and human cloning. In collaboration with astrophysicists, meteorologists, and medical ethicists, Manglano-Ovalle harnesses extraterrestrial radio signals, weather patterns, and biological code, transforming pure data into digital video projections and sculptures realized through computer rendering. His work is attentive to points of intersection between local and global communities, emphasizing the intricate nature of ecosystems.

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Childhood and Influences

Artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle discusses how growing up on different continents affected his artistic practice and the numerous influences at play in his work.

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Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

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Artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle discusses the connection between climate and aesthetics in his work.


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